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Political Screening: Theory and Evidence from the Argentine Public Sector

Author

Listed:
  • Ernesto Calvo

    () (University of Maryland)

  • Gergely Ujhelyi

    () (University of Houston)

Abstract

Politicians can benefit by ensuring that public sector positions requiring political services are occupied by partisans. We study a model in which this political screening is achieved by varying the amount of required political services and associated compensation in otherwise similar positions. Past vote shares reflect the population share of partisans, and we predict a U-shaped relationship between an employee's current salary and the incumbent politician's vote share at the time of hiring. We test for this effect using individual data from a large national income survey from Argentina, a country with widespread political patronage. The results are consistent with the model, showing that political conditions at the time of hiring have long-lasting effects on public employees' wages.

Suggested Citation

  • Ernesto Calvo & Gergely Ujhelyi, 2012. "Political Screening: Theory and Evidence from the Argentine Public Sector," Working Papers 201303201, Department of Economics, University of Houston.
  • Handle: RePEc:hou:wpaper:201303201
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    File URL: http://www.uh.edu/econpapers/RePEc/hou/wpaper/201303201.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ujhelyi, Gergely, 2014. "Civil service reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 15-25.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    political patronage; screening; public employees;

    JEL classification:

    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making

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